A unique event for the Kenai Peninsula turned out a large crowd that eagerly waited in line outside the Old Carr’s Mall on a warm autumn evening to see the first ever VIVID Fashion Show. A collaboration of talent presented by Jasmin’s Hair Design and Artistic Puppy. “It’s been in my mind for years,” Jasmin McGahan of Jasmin’s Design said, “Something that would stand out as a unique experience on the Peninsula, something usually reserved for large cities. I knew it had to be epic, the production quality needed to be top notch, and the hair, makeup, fashion, and most of all the experience needed to be on point. That’s why I called Jon Taylor at Artistic Puppy to partner with me. I’d seen his work, and I knew he could bring it all together. So I called Jon one day a few years back and set up a meeting,” said McGahan. “I sat down across the table from Jasmin and she spelled out this vision to bring a top notch fashion experience to the Peninsula, and I have always been about promoting culture in this town. The funny thing is, the culture is already here. Look at the excellent clothing designers, boutiques, and then media creators like Artistic Puppy and others, creating epic media. Jasmin’s vision really lined up with mine and I came on board as a partner in the venture,” said Taylor in the interview. “Between the two of us, we had a clear goal. A real cultural experience. We wanted people to walk away talking about it. Then keep talking about it. Impacting people on a level that even challenges the way people think about doing events on the Peninsula,” he said.
“The great team we put together is what made it happen. If it weren’t for our crew I would have been crying in a corner. With that in place there was selecting the models, preparing the hair, in some cases months in advance, then securing the clothing, not to mention the millions of decisions about layout and style of the room. Jon built our website, made our videos and took pictures, while we were on the phone with lighting companies in Anchorage and the hair products brand folks at Goldwell in LA. A lot of people were pushing us to use experienced models, to go through an agency, or even fly them in. From the beginning I wanted to keep it local. We used our awesome clients. We showcased how perfectly beautiful our local talent is. These models are your next-door neighbors, and they really brought it. Every one of them were fabulous,” explained Jasmine. “Nobody fell off the runway instead they owned the runway,” added Taylor. “Our concept was unproven. We had no track record for producing amazing fashion shows, and honestly, we are on the Peninsula. I think there was a general impression that this was going to be unremarkable. So we went hat in hand to different boutiques and clothiers in Anchorage and experienced a lot of rejection. Chez Moi here in Soldotna jumped in right away and believed in us and got behind us. For the one wedding gown in the show, we went right to Orainda’s Bridal Boutique and she jumped in with a fabulous dress strung with led lights and crystals. But we still needed the modern formal look that a lot of Anchorage boutiques carry and after a lot of rejection it came down to one last boutique to meet with. We sat down across from 4th Avenue Boutique and laid out our plan, knowing that they were it, if they said no we were stuck,” said Jon, “4th Avenue believed in what we were doing and went all in. Which is great because their clothes are absolutely beautiful,” added Jasmine.
The show included multi-media stage and lighting designs and a total make over for a lucky Kenai girl Jessica Smith, nominated by her husband was the winner and walked the VIVID runway to great applause. Reigning Mrs. Alaska Jessica Struman of Kenai also worked the fashion show and spoke to the crowd of her experience and passion for her platform.
According to the duo plans are already underway for next year’s event, “We have a few surprises up our sleeve for the next VIVID fashion show,” she said and in the meantime they are collaborating on “Movember.” It’s a gallery now on exhibit at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor center to promote awareness of men’s health in conjunction with the Movember charity.